|Entertaining action, good music, Kuro is an awesome addition||Since it's half a show the ending is a little rough|
It can be tough to do a review for the first part of a series. The show is not technically done and yet you are trying to put a value on it. It gets even more fun with 2wei because it’s the first half of a second season. But, at the same time I think 2wei was good and worth talking about while we are left anticipating 2wei Hertz which will air eventually, we just don’t know when.
2wei follows up after a fairly successful first season for Prisma Illya. A pretty entertaining kind of alternate universe series. The first season had a pretty straight forward kind of Card Captors feel just with the cards being demonic servants from the Fate universe XD. Here, the threat comes in two forms one early and one much later. The threats are mostly resolved by the end of this first part, but not completely. There is still more to figure out which is obviously why the second part will be coming out eventually.
There is just no way to talk about this second season without spoiling the first couple episodes. It introduces a new main character to the cast with Illy and Miyu. The show had an interesting way of adding a new member to the cast and one that makes sense when looking back at some of the incredible things that happened in the first season. Adding that new character really changed up the dynamics and I’m still not sure how things will shake out for the second half. Adding someone new required a lot of focus on her which somewhat pushed away focus for some of the other characters in the show. One can only cover so much in 10 episodes after all.
Anyways, Kuro really was a great addition to the cast. She brought a really entertaining and conflicted personality to the show. One can only imagine how difficult it was for Kuro after she first appeared and was left trying to sort out her feelings. Someone who really didn’t have a lot of life experience because of her background trying to sort out some dark and mixed up feelings. It’s good in a sense that she isn’t a perfect character. She starts out trying to do some extreme stuff and could have turned things darker if she managed to succeed at them.
But even mixed up with that inner conflict, Kuro really helped drive a lot of the entertainment in 2wei. Her existence and actions really threw Illya off and made her act in a less positive way than you would expect after the first season. Of course she also was responsible for one of the most intense…scenes in the first couple episodes with Miyu. She also brings an entertaining fighting style and for some of the early fights, a great deal of confidence. Kuro knows she has some skills and is willing to make use of them to accomplish her goals. Her scenes have a lot of the impact in this first part which you can kind of say is all about her.
The rest of the cast remains as entertaining as ever. Illya does get some development in this first part both in terms of how she relates with Kuro and her combat ability. Illya needs to grow a bit and start to get creative with what she can do in a fight. She makes quite a bit of growth in combat. We could already see how attuned she is to being a magical girl with the whole using her imagination and not getting tied down with logic.
Her rivalry with Kuro is plenty entertaining and they have some great moments together. But in the end Illya rises above any mistakes she makes and helps give optimism to the cast. She’ll fight for her friends and stand by them once she has gotten invested. That’s the kind of person you don’t mind giving your all for either.
Miyu does get some good moments in this first half. They really hinted at the mystery of her character and reminded us that we know so little about her. She also gets some of the best pure action scenes in the arc. Her straight forward nature perhaps causes her to dive faster into fights than others might in her position. The only downside is that Miyu is occasionally pushed to the side since Kuro needed a lot of focus and Illya as well since she was so tightly connected to her.
Rin and Luvia remain as they always have been, at each others throat 90% of the time but ready to stand united when a situation requires them to do so. The story gives a good enough reason for those two to remain in that city and have to continue putting up with each other. Their presence varies as the focus again remained mostly with the young trio of main characters. They did get their chances to shine though later in the show.
Illya’s friends remain the comic relief that they always are. To some degree they all are oddballs and it is fun to watch them respond both to Kuro and to events in general. They aren’t the most important part of the show, but they are a grounding force and a reminder that Illya has this semi-normal life that isn’t connected to crazy battles or magic. And that in itself has a good role to play.
Other characters like Bazett make a great impact, but it’s hard to talk about that without diving into too many spoilers. I can’t recall if Bazett has made many appearances in anime form, but this has to be one of her best. The power and entertainment value of her character was at its maximum in this show. It was also good to see Irisviel again, though I suspect we may never actually see Kiritsugu himself in the show.
The plot itself was not overly complicated. For the first half it pretty well centered around Kuro with some hints at the end of something bigger on the horizon. The show introduces Kuro and spends a great deal of time just showing her interactions with Illya and the cast. There is a lot of regular life episodes in the first half though they did manage to space out battles throughout so it didn’t feel like the show was ever lacking action. They do dive into answers about the state of this world and its similarities to the FSN universe that we know very well.
In terms of the action the specific instances we got were all fairly good. Each situation had its own tone and was pretty fun to watch. The show did its best to time the last big fight for near the end of the show and it was definitely worth watching. You might not expect this kind of series to be that intense, but they do manage to capture that well. I still think the first season had one amazing action sequence that is hard to beat, but this first part does bring the value.
I think the animation was pretty good throughout the show. It may have had some weak patches in some of the non-action episodes where they were probably saving up for the bigger scenes, but I honestly don’t recall anything horrible. It does tie into the action scenes, but they did a good job animating those and letting the fights feel fluid. I feel Kuro benefited from that quite a bit since her fighting style is very suited to moving around. The budget also seemed saved up for some of Kuro’s ‘interactions’ with Miyu and some of the other characters. I cannot say that was money poorly spent.
The music was also another positive for the show. I think they used a lot of good tracks for the action sequences and they worked well for the comedy moments in the show also. I did appreciate the use of the original OP’s audio at a key moment where it seemed to be appropriate. The show had a good soundtrack and along with an enjoyable OP/ED, my ears never had complaints.
The voice work was of course great. Illya and company continue to have VA’s that suit them nicely and keep consistency with the other FSN series. Kuro got quite a boost with Chiwa Saitō voicing her for this show. She brought some nice attitude to the character which fit quite well. Bazett as well had a great voice that brought the seriousness needed for her character’s introduction.
I cannot really complain about how 2wei turned out to this point. I had thought they would go a more 24 episode route considering the size of the material in comparison to the first season. I am glad that they didn’t try to cram the entire plot into 12-13 episodes since that would just not have worked. Instead they can go the 10 episode route again and see how things work out there. I’m curious to see if this series just continues to go along strong since there is plenty of source material for them to work with. 2wei was a show I was anticipating and I’m glad it lived up to my expectations for it. It had some good laughs, a great new character and action that does not look bad. I am definitely looking forward to the next season and I hope they can get Hertz out in the winter. But, we can only wait and see. 2wei for my part was a good show and I will miss it for the short time it will be gone.
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